Laundry LIES (and Truths)

Laundry LIES (and Truths)

The Queen of Clean! Does she wear a cape made of dryer sheets? Does she leap laundry hampers in a single bound? I have no idea, but she does de-bunks laundry myths faster than a speeding bullet. (The busts are brought to us by Vaska, thus the shout out). So here they are, straight from the Dirt Buster's mouth:


If the clothes are really dirty use more detergent.

This is not a good idea; too much detergent doesn’t rinse out, attracts dirt and is hard on the fibers.  Use the recommended amount per load.     

You should always use chlorine bleach for white clothes. 

No.  Chlorine bleach whitens and disinfects 100% cotton.  For blends and colors, use an oxygen bleach. 

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Washing in cold water doesn’t really get clothes clean. 

True!  Except for towels, underwear and socks, washing in cold water works well. 

Clothes shrink in the washer. 

Clothes actually shrink in the dryer; avoid over drying or leaving them in the dryer and then drying for an extended period of time. 

Sorting clothes isn’t necessary. 

Sorting clothes is necessary; don’t trust so called “color magnet” products.  Wash whites, darks and colors separately.

There is nothing I can do to fresh up the color in blue jeans once it fades. 

Try washing your old jeans with new ones to add some color to the faded jeans.

I need fabric softener to keep my towels soft. 

No.  Do not use a softener on towels as it coats the fiber and won’t dry you off well after your shower; it can also lead to an odor.  Instead, try tossing a couple of clean tennis balls in the dryer with them and they will come out soft and absorbent.  Use a good, natural laundry product that doesn’t leave chemicals in the fibers such as the Vaska Herbatergent™ ($9.99 for a 48 oz bottle/32 loads and $15.99 for a 96 oz bottle/64 loads

Just washing with detergent should remove stains. 

Always treat stains with a safe natural laundry spotter like the Vaska Spotoff ($9.59 for a 22 oz spray bottle) [Personally, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND pretreating with Fels Naptha. It's super cheap--like a buck a bar. It works GREAT and last forever. For tough stains, I wet a soft toothbrush, swipe it across the bar of Fels Naptha and then gently brush the stain. Easy peasy.]

My washer eats my socks.

No – there’s no sock monster lurking in the back of the washer, check the laundry hamper and the floor of where the family takes off shoes, etc.   


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DIY Maven on Dec 07, 2010:

StoneMaven--Yeah, that's how I took #3 too. I was quoting the Queen of Clean. Not a wordsmith is she. :) Cold is fine, except for those things mentioned.

StoneMaven on Dec 07, 2010:

Use 1/4 cup white vinegar instead of fabric softener.  It helps pull out soap residue, softens fabrics without effecting towel absorbancy, and the odor dissapears after drying.

On #3, are you saying cold does or does not work as well as hot water?  It isn't quite clear to me from the answer.  I think you meant that you should wash socks, undies, and towels in hot, but...?

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